"Follow the Greenthumb system and you can't go wrong"

As customers, Ian and Jacqui Balmforth had seen the potential in a Greenthumb franchise for themselves. Now they have developed a successful and established business. Derin Ibrahim interviews

Lawns are a central focus for most gardens, however the maintenance can be difficult and time consuming. As a result many homeowners are keen to hire outside help to deal with the upkeep, and with over 20 years of experience GreenThumb has become the largest business in the UK's lawncare sector..
As one of GreenThumb's 250,000 customers husband and wife Ian and Jacqui Balmforth could see the potential in the company. Jacqui recalls: 'I'd been working as a manger for The Body Shop and my husband was working for British Telecom. We both wanted to work together and as The Body Shop is a franchise I knew about the concept. Greenthumb was recomended to us by a friend who was also a GreenThmb franchisee and from talking to him we knew it was the business for us. We could see how the business method was simple, easy to follow and, as customers ourselves, we could see how good the results are.'

Established in 1986, Greenthumb has now been perfecting its franchise concept for over 10 years. GreenThumb franchisees administer a variety of lawn treatments including seasonal lawn feeds, weed and moss control applications, hollow-tine aeration and scarification, and insect and disease identification and control.

After comprehensive training at GreenThumb Head Office the couple launched their franchise in Shropshire. Jacqui reveals: 'The training was a mixture of practical and theory. Since the training we've had a lot of head office support and guidance in our business. Knowing that we have this support behind us is really reassuring.' Last year Jacqui and Ian won the prestigious GreenThumb 'Franchisee of the Year' Award. 'It was really nice to be recognised for all our hard work,' says Jacqi. 'I put our win down to the fact that we came second in net customers, our paper work is done efficiently and above all we follow the GreenThumb method. Since the start of 2007 we have gained a further 1,000 customers bringing our total to over 4,500 satified customers!'

Looking set to hit the £500,000 turnover mark in 2008, Jacqui attributes their success to the GreenThumb method: 'I like the fact that there is a system behind everything you do with the business, which is really easy to follow. We've found that if you follow the GreenThumb method you can't go wrong and it has proven effective for us. For example when we first started it was just my husband and I, within our first month we had already employed our first member of staff and now we have 11 employees! We plan to carry on netting 1,000 customers a year, and our aims are to employ four to five new members of staff and reach a turnover of £1 million in five years.'

There are more than 20 million homes in the U.K. and the vast majority have a lawn.

GreenThumb is by far the market leader in lawncare , currently servicing over 250,000 lawns throughout the UK. Our satisfied customers value our straight forward, professional and reliable service, which we have been delivering since 1986.

GreenThumb franchisees are experiencing the satisfaction, and rewards that come from operating our successful and profitable business format franchise - Our largest franchise services over 8,000 lawns, and many of our others service over 3,000 lawns.

This is NOT A JOB, but a Management Franchise Opportunity providing: - Year-Round Business - Not Seasonal -Repeat Business year after year after year - Access to a huge, untapped market - A Proven Successful and Profitable Method - High Customer Satisfaction and Referral rate - Multiple Van and Crew Potential - Comprehensive Training in our Method and Systems - Bespoke Lawncare Software - Access to Nutragreen feeds - Total investment £26,500 (+VAT)